DHAKA, June 19 |
(Reuters) - Bangladesh looks set to earn around $500 million over the next two years by exporting ships, which builders see as a big leap for the country's emerging ship making industry and they hope to get more orders soon from international buyers.
"We have orders to build and supply 40 ships of different sizes worth $500 million from buyers in Denmark, Germany, Mozambique, Pakistan, Finland and the Netherlands," said Mohammad Saiful Islam, chairman of Western Marine Shipyard, one of Bangladesh's two leading shipbuilding companies.
The other is Ananda Shipyard and Slipways, which is making some of the 40 ships to be delivered in two years.
"It was a tremendous leap forward for the country and if the trend continues, shipbuilding will be one of the largest export sectors of Bangladesh by the year of 2015," Saiful told Reuters on Sunday.
"Shipbuilders in our country are receiving more import orders as they are quite capable now to build world-class quality ships."
Saiful called on the government to support the sector through a refinancing scheme to boost ship exports in order to spur the country's image, earn more money and create employment.
"Political stability is also a vital factor for the growth of this sector," Saiful said.
He said Bangladesh would be a leading shipbuilding country by the year 2015, capable of manufacturing global standard vessels for foreign buyers, especially small and medium sized vessels.
The total size of the global ship export market is $400 billion and Bangladesh can grab a slice of the market if local shipbuilders are adequately backed by policies such as refinancing from the central bank, Saiful said.